When St. Anthony High School student Mudit Jha co-created Dreamers Abyss in March 2022, it never crossed his mind the website would trailblaze a positive path for students to collaborate worldwide. But soon after the website went live, students on different continents around the world contacted Jha, interested to join the effort.
Dreamers Abyss was created by 17-year-old Jha and his childhood friend Suyash Handa, who resides in India. The pair came up with the idea for the content-driven platform after discovering the stark differences between education systems around the world, and the need for students to focus more on self-improvement and positive emotional health.
“We decided to make a blog platform,” Jha said. “We could write our own stories about how we felt students should develop themselves and form a mentality to become better individuals.”
Jha moved between the U.S. and India as a child due to passport issues. As a young child, he was excited to be here, but as he grew older and entered high school, felt isolated and unheard. Starting Dreamers Abyss helped Jha move toward healing and a path to help others.
“In school, I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my own voice,” Jha said. “It took me a long time to start to open up with other people about my background and my history. That’s why I started writing.”
Jha presented the idea first to staff at his school, followed by the full school board. The innovative mission and Jha’s passion for emotional well-being and education change was met with delight, according to Wendy Webster, director of community services and communications for the St. Anthony-New Brighton school district.
“The fact that Mudit’s passion has led him to foster connections for students around the world is incredibly meaningful to me,” said Mageen Caines, ISD 282 school board director. “Mudit’s passion is deep and bright, and I feel great hope for the world when I’ve connected with him. I think the scope and ambition of his project is the kind of dream we want to support and challenge all our students to reach for. I dream of all our students finding their passion in the way Mudit has, and I learn from him regularly.”
“Our ultimate goal is just to create a bigger community of intellectual students and promote self-improvement,” Jha said. “Self-improvement is one thing [that is promoted] and growth and student life. I’m trying to encourage community involvement, be an active learner and go outside school to involve ourselves in our own learning [by] finding our own passions.”
All the website content, including the graphic design, is created for students by Jha and his team. It’s based on what Jha describes as “three pillars” and comprises trending world topics, self-improvement, student productivity and emotional mindfulness and improvement in the overall education system.
Caines says Dreamers Abyss gives youth the opportunity to develop connections and support each other. “Mudit is leading a team of young people who take great care to curate and create ambitious content that grapples rigorously with topics relevant to the world our students live in. Aside from the help that a student might get from reading the content, there is nothing like creating–whether it is writing, art, or Dreamers Abyss, to help the creator refine their goals and reach for their vision. I read the emails from my subscription to Dreamers Abyss, and I see young people engaging with what is important to them, in their own words, leading their own way. Giving youth [a] voice, relationships, and peer support for their dreams is an incredibly important role that Dreamers Abyss plays.”
Students living in the U.S., Myanmar, Korea, Brazil and India have joined the Dreamers Abyss mission. The students, who range in age between 15-18, have expressed interest in both self-improvement and leading other students in their own respective countries to channel their voice by using the blog platform. Jha and his team offer a new podcast and plan to offer courses once they develop a curriculum.
The core ten-member planning group meets weekly by Zoom and discusses outreach and new content for the upcoming week. The use of social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Reddit help promote the site. “I never thought I would end up meeting so many students from around the world,” Jha said. “It’s amazing that they reach out to us, say they want to be a part of this mission and help other students by using their own voices in our articles and other content we are starting to make [podcast].”
Jha hopes the Dreamers Abyss community will continue to grow and expand because it helped him develop and overcome his own insecurities. “It’s been a really big journey,” Jha said. “I was a shy kid and I never dreamed last year I’d be on a podcast [now]. I was a kid in the classroom that would sit in a corner and I wouldn’t talk that much. I really think I found my passion. I keep trying to challenge myself to become a better version [of myself]. When I write, I feel like I’m open to express myself and, in the same way, I can help a big community of students.”
Jha hopes to attend college to study psychology and computer science. For more information on Dreamers Abyss: https://dreamersabyss.com.
Below: Mudit Jha, co-creator of the Dreamers Abyss website. (Provided photo)